Fiberglass is increasingly becoming the material of choice when it comes to new residential in-ground pools. It’s attractive, easy to care for, and meant to last a very long time. With proper care, almost every fiberglass pool keeps its original condition season after eason, and certain preventative measures should be taken to ensure this level of durability.
Spider cracks are web-looking cracks in the pool surface coating that appear after a tremendous amount of stress has been applied to the surface. The gel coating on a fiberglass pool’s surface is flexible, but isn’t meant to flex an infinite amount. Sometimes a pool is flexed or bent while being installed, or it’s installed not perfectly level, which is why it is highly important that you feel completely confident in the installation crew.
Prevention goes a long way. Be sure to do your homework and speak to customers of your pool installer. Ask about the surface of their fiberglass and if their pool was installed professionally. Some other suggested questions would be: Did the excavation crew dig the hole to the correct specifications? Did the installer level the pool meticulously before backfilling? What type of material (gravel, sand, etc.) was used when backfilling the pool? All of these questions can give a new pool owner clues as to whether or not they are using a reputable installer.
Bulging Pool Walls
While fiberglass is meant to be flexible, the walls will maintain a rigid shape when filled because of the weight of the water being pushed against them. Occasionally, fiberglass pool walls may bulge inward if the backfill on the outside of the wall has developed more pressure than the water inside. Sometimes this is due to natural shifting and settling of the soil combined with the material used to backfill. If the installer used sand to set the pool in place, the sand has the potential to get wet and move significantly, which can put a considerable amount of pressure on the outside of the wall.
The best way to avoid this is to be certain your installer uses gravel instead of sand when backfilling the hole around your pool shell. Water won’t shift gravel like it does sand, and allows the pool to hold its intended shape.
Concrete pools are porous, allowing microscopic life to live in the tiny cracks and crevices it provides. As a smooth, non-porous material, fiberglass doesn’t have this problem. Consequently, fiberglass pools typically need much less maintenance.
Check the water once at the beginning of the season, and then once per week for the duration of summer to make sure the pH is balanced. Don’t forget to maintain your sanitizing chemicals, as well. Most pool stores offer free water testing and can help you keep it fresh.
Another tip for cleaning fiberglass pools is a mild acid wash. Over time, like any surface, fiberglass can develop a stubborn calcium line. A simple, weak muriatic acid solution is the answer. You could also consider a new tile border. It can really freshen up an older fiberglass pool and hide water lines too.
With proper care and maintenance you can extend the life of your fiberglass pool. If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help! Contact us.